finding a working 45 player
July 16, 2013 10:22 AM   Subscribe

My awesome father in law has amassed a huge collection of 45 records. He would really like a dedicated 45 player (so he can play them without using a converter). His birthday is coming up in a couple weeks. How can I find him a player that works, and how much should I expect to pay for it?
posted by wearyaswater to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
There are lots of them on ebay.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:25 AM on July 16, 2013

$75 in Vestavia.
posted by karathrace at 10:29 AM on July 16, 2013

They are still being made, with the built in speakers and in a suitcase: ~$75 new. I had one similar to this as a teen and it was all sorts of awesome.
posted by jamaro at 10:31 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Any record player will play 45's. A good one will have three speeds, 78 RPM, 45 RPM and 33 and 1/3 RPM. I've never heard of a record player, turntable that only plays 45's.

You get an adapter to put in the 45. Do it once and it's in there forever. Or get a stackable one, but I think it will be problematic down the road. (You have to find one that fits exactly the record player you have.)

You want a turntable with a tall spindle, so that you can put a stack of wax on the turntable. Here's a TEAC, but it is BUTT UGLY!

You don't have a lot of options, and I think your dad will appreciate a new model that allows for stacking. Perhaps you can volunteer to pop the adapters into the 45's.

I now feel like an old oracle, the crone of vinyl.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:39 AM on July 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

The only dedicated 45 player I've heard of is a jukebox, which would be awesome but a little spendy.

I don't have one, but I've been told these dome adapters are the way to go.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:58 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I was going to just say that I remember having an adapter that just sat on the spindle (versus having to pop one of those plastic discs into each 45, which would quickly become tedious), and the dome adapter hydrophonic linked to looks like just the ticket.
posted by usonian at 11:05 AM on July 16, 2013

Best answer: Of course there are record players designed to play only 45s. RCA designed the player when they introduced the format. Plenty of them on eBay. Just make sure someone goes over the electronics to see that the capacitors and tubes are still doing what they are supposed to.
posted by Longtime Listener at 11:24 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

There were definitely dedicated 45 players. RCA made them because they invented the format. There are a few on eBay. (on preview, what Longtime Listener said)
posted by zsazsa at 11:26 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

While there are dedicated 45 players, the sound quality on those is likely to be vastly inferior to the turntables that play multiple speeds; there just isn't much of a market for high-end (or even mid-range) dedicated 45 players. If he doesn't already have a turntable, I'd get him a nice (multi-speed) turntable and one of the dome adapters that hydrophonic links to.
posted by Betelgeuse at 11:59 AM on July 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Ahh - should have clarified - he already has a record player that *can* play 45s, but wants an old school one that *only* plays 45s. Sadly a jukebox is out of my price range but that is a great idea!

Longtime Listener - who would I get to go over the electronics? An electrical engineer type?

Thanks, everyone!
posted by wearyaswater at 7:55 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You'll want to seek out a tube tech, as the 45-only players were made before the solid state era. A good start to finding one is asking a working guitarist where he/she goes for amplifier repair. If you're in a relatively populated area, you can also try asking at message boards like Audio Karma or Antique Radio Forums.

The work itself is pretty simple, but tube electronics can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.

If all of this sounds like a hassle, an alternative would be buying something like a Califone portable. It's not 45-only, but it is exactly the kind of portable player that I used in the school library as a kid.
posted by TrialByMedia at 10:34 PM on July 16, 2013

Response by poster: great success - a local record shop had an old school (literally, from an elementary school library that no longer exists) califone portable record player for $75. looks cool, sounds great.
posted by wearyaswater at 9:13 AM on July 25, 2013

Glad to see this resolved successfully. I also just want to drop this here: Biz Markie has a pair of custom-made Technics straight-arm 7" turntables.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:09 AM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

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